New York-based Victoria Cruise Lines has resumed its "Three Gorges Highlights" program of sailings on China's Yangtze River. The first cruise on the recently renovated Victoria Katarina departed on Monday, August 17.
It's the line's first voyage since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic earlier this year. For now, only guests from the local Chinese market (including Westerners living in China, such as expats and executives of multinational corporations stationed in China) are sailing on the Victoria Katarina.
Victoria Cruise Lines said it will be using the opportunity to fine tune its pandemic policies and procedures prior to the anticipated return of international visitors.
The American-managed cruise line is also planning to deploy the Victoria Anna and Victoria Jenna in September. Each river vessel will offer weekly departures for both the four-night upstream and three-night downstream itineraries between Chongqing to Yichang.
The company has new health and safety steps to help protect guests and crew, including operating cruises at a maximum 50 percent capacity to ensure proper social distancing. Victoria has also installed new particle filtration units in the air conditioning and environmental systems of all ships currently in operation. These are comparable to what is found in hospitals and will remove dust, bacteria, allergens, mildew and other particulates known to contribute to respiratory issues in addition to helping to safeguard guests from virus transmission.
Ships will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day including cabins, public spaces, kitchens and other service areas. Hand sanitizers will be placed in key areas throughout the ship, including dining room and ship entrances.
Employees also have received health and safety training conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China in addition to a more specific pandemic training class to ensure proper protocols are followed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Read original article